Was the original Statue of Liberty a statue of a black woman? According to Urban Intellectuals, that would be a “yes”; it reports that the original statue (a tribute to black slaves) presented to the United States was intended to celebrate the “part that Black soldiers played in the ending of Black African Bondage in the United States” and that it was the idea of French historian Edourd de Laboulaye, chairman of the French Anti-Slavery Society, and sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi – both anti-slavery abolitionists. Read more on this hidden history and the evidence behind it here.
By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor
Manifest destiny, The Cycling Psychosis
Manifest destiny – Because I can and lack the empathy to refrain?
Manifest Destiny was always a general notion rather than a specific policy. There were never a set of principles defining manifest destiny. Ill-defined but keenly felt, manifest destiny was an expression of conviction in the morality and value of expansionism that complemented other popular ideas of the era, including American exceptionalism and Romantic nationalism. Andrew Jackson, who spoke of “extending the area of freedom”, typified the conflation of America’s potential greatness, the nation’s budding sense of Romantic self-identity, and its expansion.
Yet Jackson would not be the only president to elaborate on the principles underlying manifest destiny. Owing in part to the lack of a definitive narrative outlining its rationale, proponents offered divergent or seemingly conflicting viewpoints. While many writers focused primarily upon American expansionism, be it into Mexico or across the Pacific, others saw the term as a call to example. Without an agreed upon interpretation, much less an elaborated political philosophy, these conflicting views of America’s destiny were never resolved. This variety of possible meanings was summed up by Ernest Lee Tuveson, who writes:
A vast complex of ideas, policies, and actions is comprehended under the phrase “Manifest Destiny”. They are not, as we should expect, all compatible, nor do they come from any one source.
John L. O’Sullivan, sketched in 1874, was an influential columnist as a young man, but he is now generally remembered only for his use of the phrase “manifest destiny” to advocate the annexation of Texas and Oregon.
Journalist John L. O’Sullivan, an influential advocate for Jacksonian democracy and a complex character described by Julian Hawthorne as “always full of grand and world-embracing schemes”, wrote an article in 1839, which, while not using the term “manifest destiny”, did predict a “divine destiny” for the United States based upon values such as equality, rights of conscience, and personal enfranchisement “to establish on earth the moral dignity and salvation of man”. This destiny was not explicitly territorial, but O’Sullivan predicted that the United States would be one of a “Union of many Republics” sharing those values.
Six years later, in 1845, O’Sullivan wrote another essay entitled Annexation in the Democratic Review, in which he first used the phrase manifest destiny. In this article he urged the U.S. to annex the Republic of Texas, not only because Texas desired this, but because it was “our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions”. Overcoming Whig opposition, Democrats annexed Texas in 1845. O’Sullivan’s first usage of the phrase “manifest destiny” attracted little attention.
O’Sullivan’s second use of the phrase became extremely influential. On December 27, 1845, in his newspaper the New York Morning News, O’Sullivan addressed the ongoing boundary dispute with Britain. O’Sullivan argued that the United States had the right to claim “the whole of Oregon”:
And that claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.
That is, O’Sullivan believed that Providence had given the United States a mission to spread republican democracy (“the great experiment of liberty”). Because Britain would not spread democracy, thought O’Sullivan, British claims to the territory should be overruled. O’Sullivan believed that manifest destiny was a moral ideal (a “higher law”) that superseded other considerations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manifest_destiny